One of the perks of being a freelancer – ducking off to indulge in some foodie fun whilst others are working…The flipside, of course, is working when others are enjoying paid time-off! And so it was that, after working all weekend, I rewarded myself with a mid-week treat – lunch in the beautiful Natal Midlands. My chosen lunch spot on this occasion – vegetarian-friendly Café Bloom in Nottingham Road (known simply as Notties by the locals).


Café Bloom in Notties - A Feast for the Eyes and the Tummy!

After attending to business, first in Hilton and then Mooi River, I was ready for a breather and a good, strong cuppa – and Bloom’s cappuccino certainly did the trick!

The café is a feast for the eyes in itself – before getting stuck into the food, take a moment to enjoy the venue – an old corrugated farm shed in that shabby chic style, complete with those big ol’ red barn doors, duck egg blue and grey tables and benches, and big comfy sofas with plaid blankets to ward off the chill in cooler weather. Being a warm day, I headed on out to sit on the spacious veranda. Here’s where you sip the delightfully refreshing mint and lemon water provided on each table, and watch little birdies flit in and out of the English country garden, listen to the cooing dove nesting on up high or make friends with the resident Jack Russell as he goes from table to table…

Linger Awhile...

Slowly feeling restored from my morning’s work, it was off to investigate the “lunch table” lined up by Café Bloom’s innovative chef. Innovative, I say, because he’s able to turn even the most uninteresting veggies (broccoli, I know you’re good for me, but…!) into intriguing affairs – roasted butternut, parsley, butterbeans and broccoli salad; roasted brinjals and lentils; chickpea ‘fish’ cakes and pastryless ‘pies’, all with dressing to die for! For vegetarian (super-healthy) nosh, it tasted superb and was filling, to boot (I had every intention of finishing off with something sweet, but, alas, there was just no space).

I lingered awhile, watching the storm clouds gathering on the horizon and listening to the distant rumble of thunder. Being a Wednesday – and after the helter-skelter of the festive season – it was rather pleasant to have the place (almost) to myself, and to enjoy a few moments precious solitude before I had to head back to the city, and work!

Worth a Mention…

  • Bloom Café is the Winner of Best Country-Style Restaurant: The Eat Out Mercedes Benz Restaurant Awards 2014
  • Provides excellent offerings for vegetarians
  • Beautifully presented and original dishes
  • Plenty of safe parking
  • Friendly staff
  • Licensed (so you can wash down the gourmet goodies with a spritzer or a glass of vino!)
  • After eating and drinking your fill, check out what take-away country fare they have for sale (like fresh raspberries) and amble up to the Country Company store for a browse around…

Wish I Didn’t Have to Mention This, But…

  • The bill was a tad costly, when comparing similar meals offered by city cafés and bistros. 

Will I Be Back?

It’s worth a visit, for the coffee and the setting alone. Next time, I’d like to try one of those good-looking cakes…the carrot cake looks simply delish!

Try Café Bloom for Yourself…

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#cafebloomnotties | @marierocherwriter